july 17/18

i'm getting pretty good at walking around
looking like i have somewhere to go
without really having anywhere to be
it's all in the hips
left right left right left right left right left
last week i was shaking my hips up the stairs of the rose and crown
feeling kinda bent
like when you wake up from crazy dream only to forget what it was
as i reached the top i heard someone ask
are you braden gates?'
'are you braden gates?'
'oh yea'
'i saw you play in calgary one time'
'wanna play pool?'

and then we were a doubles team
we won a few games and lost a few games
my partner's name was nick
he told me about an open mic happening
every wednesday at a bar called tommy's
and of course i went to that open mic at tommy's 
the very next wednesday
an open mic is my favourite kind of mic

and let me tell you about it

it was loud and boozy and there was sweet caroline 
and free bird and free fallin
and some other songs that everybody sang
and some sweet voices and some not so
and an abnormal amount of tambourines
aggressive tambourines
those are the worst kind of tambourines
they were handed out like candy on halloween

i played at the open mic happening every wednesday at tommy's
i played tom petty
i played fishing in the dark
fucked it up pretty bad
but everybody sang along
and the whole time i played at the open mic 
happening every wednesday at tommy's
there was a chick who stood facing me about 3 feet away 
while she beat the shit out of a tambourine
and she would not stop

and i said

'can you play that thing in the key of g?'

and she said

'i don't speak english'

'can you hit the tambourine roughly every 3 minutes?'

'i don't speak english'

'how long have you been playing the tambourine?'

'i don't speak english'

and she hammered and whacked and shook and tapped
kinda like she had somewhere to go
but nowhere to be
and we played the blues and we played the not blues
and she did not stop
still hasn't

this is how bands are started

july 6/18

i made it back to banff
still feeling a little funky
the feeling you get when you know 
that you have something to do
but you can't quite remember what it is
i felt this way the other day
while i was shooting pool with keith at the time out pub off argyll
he walked in wearing a blue rodeo shirt
and i said, 'shit, i'm opening for blue rodeo on friday in banff'
and while racking the balls, keith said, 'you're blue rodeo on friday for an opening in banff?'
and as i broke i said, 'i'm banff on opening blue rodeo friday'
and as keith pocketed a nice run of balls, he said, 'you're friday's opening of banff blue rodeo?'
and as i missed a shot i said, 'i'm opening for blue rodeo on friday in banff'
and as keith sunk the eight on his way to victory he said,

'you still need a lot of fucking practice'


may 30/18

i'm in calgary, alberta,
it's nearing the end of may 
two thousand and eighteen
and i'm feeling kinda funky
like the feeling you get when you 
meet some friends in banff who are
building a secret log cabin in the woods
and they ask, 'do you wanna see our secret log cabin in the woods?'
and you say, 'i would like to see your secret log cabin in the woods'
and they bring you to their secret log cabin in the woods
and you walk through some trees to the secret log cabin in the woods
and then you watch them chip away at the logs
with a dull hatchet and a pocket knife
and then one of them asks you, 'what kind of life do you wanna have?'
and then you mumble through some sort of answer
while simultaneously wishing you were mumbling through a better answer
and then you say, 'i have to leave your secret cabin in the woods
to go visit a friend who is living in an astro van
behind the canmore save on foods'
and then they say, 'thanks for visiting our secret log cabin in the woods'
and you say, 'thanks for showing me your secret log cabin in the woods'
and then it's forty eight hours later
and you are sitting in a coffee shop a few blocks from
the ironwood stage and grill
where you are playing a show the next day
but instead of sitting in that coffee shop few blocks from
the ironwood stage and grill
where you are playing a show the next day
you long to be sitting in a secret log cabin in the woods
making your way through a better answer to
'what kind of life do you wanna have?'

that kinda funky



going to british columbia 

kelowna on a friday night
will probably play jesus on the mainline
as well as some other gospel songs
that's what i'm into right now

kamloops on a saturday night
will probably play some warren zevon
as well as some songs about killing the blues

sometime in 2018

grandpa pissed his pants again
that's what zevon said
in his song play it all night long

will play at least part of the night 
during some festivals this summer 

first in mission british columbia

and then in stony plain, alberta

and then in grand prairie, alberta

and remember
when the cattle all have brucellosis
we'll get through somehow


sometime in 2017

braden has been nominated for two canadian folk music awards for his latest album, 'much rather be sleeping'!
he will also be playing the awards gala in ottawa, november 18-19
see fancy nominee announcement pictures below


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this is braden gates

this is braden gates

bridget sold jewellery on a blanket on the sidewalk along whyte avenue
she was always looking to make some money and every time i saw her she had a different reason to
and although her jewellery was not the best, she liked to work with a particular shade of blue
that reminded me of a woman I knew, well, i still do,  but i  used to, too

dale was always hanging around and although he did not make jewellery, he could make you cry
often with as little words as 'spare some change for a bottle of rye'
dale and i, we got to know each other over some time, and he started asking about my music
i'd say, 'it's not saving anybody's life, but i guess it's alright'

one night i ran into dale and i just had to ask him how he could make it so long out on the street
and despite being a bottle or so deep, without missing a beat he got right into the middle of the lord's prayer pslam 23
'although i walk in the valley of the shadow of death, i fear no evil, for the lord is my shepherd, he comforts me'

if you are anything like dale, you may find comfort in the lord's prayer, or maybe just the booze
if you are anything like bridget, you may find solace in selling craft along a busy avenue
and if you are anything like me, you may find hope in writing songs
some of the songs i've written are recorded and some of them may never be
some of the songs you may hear me play at a festival, or a house concert, or at an open mic
some of the songs are on my new album called 'much rather be sleeping'
and although that's an appropriate title to describe many moments of my life
it is not accurate when i have the chance to play music

so, with bridget in mind, and dale, and that woman i knew, well, still do, but used to, too
i move on in search of that perfect shade of blue
writing songs along the way

braden gates at alberts family restaurant

braden gates at alberts family restaurant